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“To other countries, I may go as a tourist, but to India, I come as a pilgrim,” said Martin Luther King, Jr. Today scores of people from other nations are also coming to India, but this time they are coming not as tourists or pilgrims, but as long-term resident expatriates. As these expats come, they also have one major question in mind–“Which city should be home?” The following are The Top Five Cities for Expats to Live Long Term in India.
Although this national capital of India battles air pollution, heavy traffic, and common tourism challenges, the majority of expatriates choose to make Delhi their home. There are many reasons that most expats have chosen Delhi. First, it is the historic center of the nation, and it offers a good blend of Indian life, culture, shopping and western amenities. It has a metro, as well as good international air travel connections.
This is the second choice of expats for a home. Mumbai has several qualities that make it attractive to international settlers. Though it is home to over 12 million residents as India’s largest city, it has good public transportation, with clean rickshaws and a reliable taxi system. Medical facilities are first rate.
It is also a great international travel hub with its seaport location on India’s Western Coast. The human relationship factors also lure expats to Mumbai, as it has a friendly and safer reputation than Delhi. Some attribute this safer environment to the 24/7 nature of the city. Its native population treat expats in a friendly manner.
This 9th largest city of India at just over 3 million people is a manufacturing hub with an auto industry and electronic goods. Though not as well-known as the larger cities of India, but it has some advantages that make it an attractive place for expats to settle. Pune is more affordable in terms of low cost boarding and lodging as compared to Mumbai and New Delhi.
In 2015, Mercer, the international benefits consulting company ranked Pune as having a much higher quality of living than both Mumbai and New Delhi. The rankings measure 39 factors of a city, such as political stability, crime, medical services, pollution, public services, availability of daily items, and even records of natural disasters. Pune ranked 145 compared to Mumbai’s 152 and New Delhi’s 154 ranking.
This is capital of the state of Telangana actually ranked better than Pune on the Mercer 2015 Quality of Living rankings, coming in at 138. It is the fourth largest city in India with just under 7 million people. Hyderabad is also a major IT center and boasts of many pharmaceutical and biotechnology business, and is known as India’s “Genome Valley.”
Besides its strong economy, the residents of Hyderabad have a reputation of friendliness, willing to help expatriates. The cost of living is also less than the larger cities of India due to lower housing costs. Finally, it boasts excellent international transportation with its airport rated as the third best in the world.
This city is the cultural capital of South India. It has 4.3 million residents and is less congested than any other Indian cities since it is more spread out. It is a major IT center and also manufactures technology hardware. It is known for its famous temples and is the center of the Tamil-speaking culture. Chennai has the third largest number of expatriates in India.
Bangalore is India’s third largest populous city blessed with decent climate throughout the year. It is also known as Silicon Valley of India, a hub for Information Technology (IT) Companies and nation’s leading IT exporter. Relatively clean, cosmopolitan and open-minded attitude of the people makes this city a good residence for expatriates. The city is known for its top end education facilities. There are number of well recognized colleges, research institutes and home to almost all multi-national companies in Bangalore.
“I have always been very confident and very upbeat about the future potential of India. I think it is a great country with great potential,” said Ratan Tata. For expatriates looking for a long-term home, these Indian cities offer great potential to make a great home.